Leaked e-mails allegedly undermining climate change science should be treated as a criminal matter, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said Wednesday afternoon.The e-mails, from scientists at the University of East Anglia, were obtained through hacking. The messages showed the director of the university's Climate Research Unit discussing ways to strengthen the unit's case for global warming. Climate change skeptics have seized on the e-mails, arguing that they demonstrate manipulation in environmental science.
Boxer, the top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said that the recently released e-mails, showing scientists allegedly overstating the case for climate change, should be treated as a crime.
"You call it 'Climategate'; I call it 'E-mail-theft-gate,'" she said during a committee meeting. "Whatever it is, the main issue is, Are we facing global warming or are we not? I'm looking at these e-mails, that, even though they were stolen, are now out in the public."
Boxer said her committee may hold hearings into the matter as its top Republican, Sen. James Inhofe (Okla.), has asked for, but that a criminal probe would be part of any such hearings.
"We may well have a hearing on this, we may not. We may have a briefing for senators, we may not," Boxer said. "Part of our looking at this will be looking at a criminal activity which could have well been coordinated.
"This is a crime," Boxer said.
Does anybody know who hacked and/or leaked the emails?
British libertarian activist Sean Gabb tosses out a fun conspiracy theory: Vladimir Putin dunnit.
But the Russians had means and opportunity to do the job. Perhaps their security services are no longer as efficient and as well-funded as in Soviet times. But they are still there. Their mission is no longer to win the Cold War. But making life easier for Mr Putin and his friends is a large mission in itself. They no longer have an active network in British universities. But there must be any number of senior managers there whose activities back in the 1980s would merit an outing in The Daily Mail, and who therefore are open to blackmail.
And the Russians had the best motive imaginable. Anthropogenic global warming is, as said, a pack of lies. But there is huge money behind it. And it is conceivable that Western scientific ingenuity will find a “carbon free” energy source that both works and is economically viable. Now, where would that leave Russia? Without its exports of oil and gas, the place is little more than a bankrupt post-Soviet slagheap.
I can top that conspiracy theory! If I were Putin, I would want to discredit Global Warming theorists in order to make Global Warming more likely. It's too damn cold in Russia right now.
What a hero Putin would become to Russians of the future! Grateful Russians would annually celebrate the anniversary of his ascent to power on December 31, 1999 by, say, holding a huge beach volleyball tournament in Murmansk.
It would be like Lex Luthor's plan in Superman to own all the beachfront property in Nevada by having California fall into the ocean. Russia has 38,000 kilometers of coastline, much of it on the Arctic Ocean, which would become the new Russian Riviera.